Australian news, and some related international items

Officials will not confirm whether US bombers in Australia carry nuclear weapons

By defence correspondent Andrew Greene, 16 Feb 23

Officials have stopped short of ruling out that US strategic bombers are carrying nuclear weapons to Australia, but the government insists any such move would not breach this country’s international obligations. 

Key points:

  • United States bombers with nuclear capability frequently fly in Australian air
  • The US has a policy of refusing to confirm or deny if those bombers carry nuclear weaponry
  • The federal government says it respects US secrecy on nuclear weapons

During a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday Greens senators sought details on whether visiting American aircraft such as the B-52s operating out of the Top End are ever nuclear armed.

The committee was told the United States had a longstanding policy of “neither confirming or denying” the presence of nuclear weapons under its practice of maintaining global operational unpredictability. ……..

Defence Department secretary Greg Moriarty said the “stationing of nuclear weapons” in Australia was prohibited under the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, but the treaty did not prevent visits by the US bombers.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong backed the secretary’s statement and accused Greens senators of trying to “make a political point”. 

“This is the Australian position: We understand and respect the longstanding US policy of neither confirming or denying. That is the position,” Senator Wong said.

“But we remain fully committed to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, and we will fully comply with our international obligations, which are understood by the United States.”

Under further questioning from Greens senator David Shoebridge, the foreign minister said it would not be appropriate to elaborate. …………………….

Defence mulls methods to make warships more deadly

Defence has also revealed it is examining ways to make Australia’s next fleet of warships more lethal. ……………more

February 16, 2023 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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